Favorite: Hayfield (5-6)
New Coach Eric Henderson has 10 talented returning starters at his disposal for the athletic Hawks. Henderson brings his up-tempo offense to Hayfield with several two-way players at wide receiver and defensive back to spark the Hawks. Michael Cobbs, Jordan McIntyre and Montez Wilson all have speed and versatility in the open field at wide receiver and in the secondary, while tailback Myles Ross grants the Hawks another player who can turn big plays out of the backfield. Hayfield must adjust quickly, however, as it opens against powers South County, Westfield and Centreville.
Around the league: Langley’s tradition of bulky offensive lineman and workhorse running backs continues this season behind senior tailback Tyler West, who accumulated 2,230 yards and 26 touchdowns last year. Hulking tackles Connor Halm and Ben Culmer will be charged with protecting new starting quarterback Jack Anderson. The Saxons’ defense is young with minimal depth, placing the burden on lineman Brian Pitts. . . . With the graduation of two-time All-Met rusher M.J. Stewart, Yorktown’s strength will shift from offense, which will rally around strong-armed quarterback Joe McBride, to defense, where lineman Quinn Cox and linebacker Jack Storrs bring athleticism and physicality. . . .
Shaun Blair takes the helm at McLean with plans to mix elements of the spread and wing-T offenses into a Highlander attack featuring new quarterback Brian Maffei and wide receiver Jordan Cole. . . . South Lakes also has a new coach in Trey Taylor, who inherits an inexperienced squad. Still, there’s potential at the skill positions in defensive back/wide receiver Darius Hawkins and quarterback Tavarius Lee. . . . Fairfax graduated the bulk of its offensive firepower in All-Met rusher Nick Scott, but the Rebels return seven starters, including defensive back Mileek Burns. . . . After graduating 25 players from the team that notched the school’s first winning record since 1993, Washington-Lee will look to rebuild around fast running back Daquay Harris. . . . Madison looks to rebuild after an uncharacteristic 1-9 season. Senior linebackers Joe Koshuta and Ryan Barrett are two of 10 starters back to power the Warhawks.
More high school football preview content